Most people know about starting a lawsuit and most people know about the trial phase of a lawsuit.
But the middle phase, known as Discovery, is not well known.
Discovery constitutes the exchange of all relevant material prior to trial. This is the longest phase of a case and can take years. An explanation of the different types of information exchanged during Discovery is below:
1. Bill of Particulars-Each side can serve the other with a demand for a Bill of Particulars for the purpose of better understanding what the other side is claiming. i.e. they are asking for the party to be more particular in their pleadings.
2. Document exchange-Each side asks the other to turn over any and all relevant documents pertaining to the case.
3. Deposition-The parties are asked questions, under oath, with a court reporter. This is a dry run for trial, so attorneys can be aware of how a question may be answered at trial and pins the other side down on specific issues in case they try and change their answers later.
4. Witness Information-The parties inform each other who will be called as a witness at trial.
5. Expert Witness Information-If you have previously read my emails you would remember that an Expert Witness can come in handy and may be the make or break to your case. The parties inform each other if and who will be called as an expert witness at trial.
6. Misc. Reports-There is also the exchange of accident reports, doctor’s reports and any other reports that is relevant to the case.
Lastly, motion practice becomes necessary if the other party does not turn over the requested relevant information.
Discovery also helps each side assess the strength of their case and can help lead to a settlement.
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